where to buy soap supplies

Where to buy soap supplies, and at the best price, can entail some research and lots of googling. At my store, we had four suppliers and although they sold almost the same supplies, one would have a better price on some category, than the others.

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Where to buy soap supplies may also depend on whether you need a tax number for their selling purposes. If you don’t want to alert any tax people, consider buying the large bulk sizes from regular soap suppliers, which will still save you money. And if you need shipping, sometimes a courier is less expensive.

Here’s a soap making equipment list here.

Where to buy soap supplies, and why we had different suppliers:

The carrier oils, the main soap oils:

Where to buy soap supplies can include getting carrier oils from a restaurant supply. Way less expensive, and depending, they may deliver. Sometimes a wholesale restaurant supply will not deliver to a home address, but there are still ways around this to still get a good price.  Some restaurant and grocery suppliers require a minimum of $1,500 for a delivery, so we often used a small local grocery store, and they would add our order to theirs. From this local store we ordered our gallons of canola and olive oils, these came in 16 liter/4 gallon boxes. like below: (these were heavy too, lol)

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For our coconut and palm oils, we ordered from a real warehouse soap making supply store (needing a tax number) and they only dealt in bulk sizes.  You can stick get large sizes from a soap supply company.  If you need stuff shipped, try to order closer to home. These oils came in tubs, like below:

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For the special carrier oils that you need less of, such as apricot kernel or grapeseed, these small sizes can be bought or ordered from any soap supplier. Usually all soap supply companies buy in bulk and repackage into smaller containers, and put their name on it, like the image below:

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The essential oils and fragrance oils:

We had three suppliers for these. The one where we got the large bulk coconut and palm oils is the same supplier where we bought the quarter-gallon/1 liter-sized aluminum bottles of essential oils and fragrance oils. Buying in bulk saves a fortune! The company is FPI Sales.

Generally all soap suppliers sell both essential oils and fragrances oils, and often organic versions as well.  Our second option was a large warehouse type of soap supply store, that did the majority of their sales online. This one is where you ordered at the desk and someone gathered up the bottles from the warehouse and shipped it to you.

Third was a regular retail type store , yet did over half of its sales online. It would be this type of store where we would get items that we did not want in bulk. Of course you are paying a little more. And another just for the chocolate fragrance oil.

And don’t bother with Michael’s art and craft supply – crazy expensive stuff!

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Plants, spices, colorants, clays, etc:

This is where you will have to check every supplier you now have and write down the prices – or you’ll get lost. Depending on what you are making, you may have one supplier for one particular ingredient – like menthol crystals or manuka essential oil.

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clays, powdered colorants and micas for coloring your soap

The equipment:

Luckily you won’t have to spend specialty store prices to acquire most of these things. Consider thrift store, as you won’t want to use these after for food anyways:

  • stainless steel pot
  • candy thermometer
  • wooden spoon
  • plastic jug
  • measuring cup
  • scale, with 1/10 of ounces
  • mold
  • freezer paper
  • hand mixer

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Getting the lye:

We bought our lye, aka caustic soda beads, aka sodium hydroxide, from a janitorial/commercial business supply. Which is where we also bought our retail bags, like the white plastic grocery bags, 2 cents each. It came in a 50 lb bag, yes is was heavy, and we stored it in a large rubbermaid tub.

Once when I ran out of lye and just had to get soap made, the local hardware store had small jugs of it. Cost about $20 for the jug, but ounce price compared to the bulk bag – it was expensive. And it wasn’t as clear, like salt, like our bulk lye. Seemed to work fine though.

We bought our lye (caustic soda beads) from a janitorial and commercial business supply – I know – seems like an odd place but lye was used in a lot of commercial applications, and that was a 50 lb bag, just like the one below:

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Packaging and bottles:

On your list of where to buy soap supplies, you’ll need packaging, bottles, tins, sale bags, signs, labels, labels paper, cello bags, artistic tags, rafia, display items, and on and on. Most soap supply companies will offer an assortment of these. Check all the prices, some sell in bulk. Some supplies may carry unique items that others don’t.   We had one specific supplier for those cute little wooden boxes that 4 soaps would fit in perfectly.

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